"If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. ~George Monbio

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mr. Goodlatte, Your Cart's Before Your Horse

So this came into my email box this morning from the good Squire Goodlatte:
NEXT WEEK: On Tuesday, December 2, at 1PM, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the unconstitutionality of President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Notice that this hearing is not about immigration policy or the need for legislative solutions to this important problem. It's not even about the effectiveness or merit of Mr. Obama's executive actions.

Mr. Goodlatte and the House Tea Party caucus have declared the executive actions unconstitutional and will now use the power of the Judiciary Committee to prove it.  This is generally known to students of history as an inquisition. A less draconian term might be hyper-partisanship.  In reality, it's a distraction, and excuse not to govern.

There's a serious problem in our country with the confluence of the need for the economic engine of immigration and the radical nativism espoused by Mr. Goodlatte, friends in Congress, and the folks that voted them into office.  Instead of trying to solve the problem, we're going to have an inquisition.

Nakedly partisan governance is ugly.

Then there is this:
There is an adage every young lawyer learns: If you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts. But if you have neither, pound the table.
And these results from a Latino Decisions Poll conducted last week:
The results were staggering. A whopping 89 percent support the president’s executive action — 68 percent of them strongly. Just 10 percent oppose it.
And finally this from The Federalist Society via
The Federalist Society held their annual conference last week and a panel of conservative legal scholars agreed that President Obama does have the authority to defer some deportations, partly because of inherent executive authority and partly because Congress wrote the immigration laws to give the president such authority. 
 The decent and law-abiding Mr Goodlatte should perhaps reconsider his statement?

Interestingly, in the very same email, Mr. Goodlatte proudly displays an executive action by President Lincoln...obviously not unconstitutional.

More work to do.....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mr. Goodlatte's Response to Mr. Obama's Action on Immigration

Here is the relevant portion of Mr. Goodlatte's letter followed by my response.

Reading the Constitution isn’t something many Americans do on a daily basis. However, in light of President Obama’s announcement that he will act unilaterally to change our immigration laws and shield five million unlawful immigrants from immigration enforcement, perhaps we should take a look at our founding document for a refresher. Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution states that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” The Congress, not the President, has the power to legislate. 
It’s both perplexing and alarming that the President has decided to move forward with executive actions on immigration that he has said on numerous occasions that he didn’t have the constitutional power to take. The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to change our immigration laws on his own ignores the will of the American people and completely disregards the Constitution.

Dear Mr. Goodlatte,

He’s not changing any laws.  May I repeat.  He’s not changing any laws.  

You are correct in that Congress has the power to legislate.  You and your friends in the leadership of the majority party have repeatedly refused to exercise that power with regards to immigration reform.

It is you sir, who should follow your constitutional mandate to pass legislation that provides governance concerning the issue of immigration.  You sir, are the lawless and feeble legislator, unable to pass any legislation save the numerous attempts to deny Americans proper health care and women the power over their own bodies.

How can it be “perplexing” to you when Mr. Obama has repeatedly stated to you what he has intended to do concerning immigration?  

I don’t believe you sir.  I am perplexed and amazed at your response. I am very angry with you about your stubborn refusal address the issue of immigration through legislation.

Mr. Goodlatte, whom do you serve?

Brent Holl

Taxpayer, voter, and resident of your district. 

Now it's Immigration, Mr. Obama's Speech

I'm watching the speech and coverage of Mr. Obama's speech last night.  Old news for everyone else, but new for me.  Here are some observations as the debate moves forward.

Ted Cruz looks and sounds like a TV preacher.  He's got that soulful delivery along with the pastor-speak that uses unnecessarily ornate language.  He's a smart man, a good lawyer, but I think we should be wary of everything he says.  He's being paid by a bunch of corporate supporters and his electorate supports his radical political and religious views so everything he says is a courtroom defense.  He's a powerful advocate seeking to serve his constituents including his corporate sponsors. Hold every word he says in the light of who he is advocating for and everything he says makes perfect sense.

The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order. Legal. Excellent talking point. That order caused a pretty significant response from folks in the South.  Something similar this time? We'll see. Tom Coburn thinks the speech will cause anarchy and violence.  Many on the radical right advocate an emotional response like impeachment, government shut down or defunding the Justice Department, almost all are resorting to some form of petty name calling but so far, no substantial argument.

I'm watching the speech now...

The MSM is now officially worthless with regards to any type of journalism.  They didn't carry the speech live and their coverage today emphasizes the emotional arguments of their corporate masters. Local affiliates were better at serving the public by choosing to carry the speech live in many locations around the country.

Immigration policy is necessary, everyone wants it, everyone knows it must be done.  One party won't, the other party only offers lukewarm support.  The President is acting.  Gnashing of teeth to ensue.

The President has just re-defined amnesty!  He just said that amnesty is what we have now with no accountability at all! I'm very sure that the word amnesty is being used by the opposition as a meaningless pejorative with little regard for what it actually means.  Huzzah for the Pres for fighting fire with fire.  For the record:

amnesty |ˈamnistē
noun (pl. amnesties
an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses: an amnesty for political prisoners | the new law granted amnesty to those who illegally left the country.• an undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offenses or offenders during a fixed period: a month-long weapons amnesty.
So.... Mr Obama's action actually IS an amnesty.  Will we hear that in the media?  I wonder.....  Meanwhile, the President's actions seem to point towards providing as much accountability as possible, a good thing.

There are some caveats.  Immigrants will need to pass background checks, pay taxes, and understand that they are allowed to stay TEMPORARILY without fear of deportation.  Criminals need not apply. (Will Steve King hear this?)

To his distraught opponents on Capital Hill?  "Pass a Bill."   Boom!

Notable quote, "We were strangers once too."

Now let the "reasoned, thoughtful, passionate debate" ensue.  He is audaciously hopeful isn't he?  The real question is, "Is he acting alone?"

More work to do....

Friday, November 8, 2013

The National Memo � Are Politicians Who Cut Food Stamps and Deny Health Access Truly ‘Pro-Life’?

The National Memo � Are Politicians Who Cut Food Stamps and Deny Health Access Truly ‘Pro-Life’?:

Wendy Davis in Texas is speaking out on the true meaning, in terms of government policy, of the terms, pro-life and pro-family.  Read on....
Joe Conason - "...the other self-serving sobriquet appropriated by the right is “pro-family,” a code term for opponents of reproductive rights, marriage equality, and other progressive policies that actually empower families of all kinds. Again, these same politicians tend to disparage not only Obamacare, but extended unemployment insurance, Social Security’s old age and disability assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, student loans, tuition assistance, family leave, the earned income tax credit, and the entire panoply of successful government programs that help to keep real working families from disintegrating under economic, social, and medical stress."

So I'm strongly pro-family and pro-life.  I also believe that these two ideas are worth fighting for. So far, I'm a member of the Tea Party in good standing.  The difference for me is simply that I'm willing to pay for government programs that are truly pro-family and pro-life. I'm also willing to find and elect public servants who are committed to these causes and especially to making the policies and government organizations in charge of these policies WORK smoothly.

Conason again, "How would conservatives behave if they honestly wanted to save the family – as House Republicans will now claim when they kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, banning workplace bias against lesbians and gays? They might begin by reconsidering their ideological project of dismantling federal programs, long supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, that help families maintain stability, care for each other, maintain healthy children, and advance in each generation.

The real enemies of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for American families are those who seek to polarize incomes, destroy the social safety net, and impose misery on women and children in the name of religious morality." [emphasis mine]

It's time to call out the religious zealots who are driving the conservative agenda for it is truly and only a religious debate.  None of this has anything to do with conservatism. We need to gently push these folks off the political stage and back into the social hall where they can talk to themselves and take care of themselves. God Bless 'em....

More work to do.